If you listen to your thoughts, you’ll notice that they are telling you what love can do for you. For instance, after a disappointment in love, you may have a raw and exposed feeling. Your thoughts may tell you that you’ve been deprived, that you are abandoned, excluded, empty, lonely, or incomplete. They may tell you that only love can make you feel good again. If you’re fearful, if you crave safety and security, your thoughts may tell you that love will rescue you. If life is disappointing or doesn’t make sense, many people think that love is the answer to that as well. It would be useful at this point to see what you think. Just ask yourself what you hope for or expect from love, and make a list of five things you think love will bring you.
Most people believe that love and need are synonymous. “I love you, I need you” is the hook of a thousand love songs.
If you ask yourself what you really need in life, you’ll probably come up with a list like the one you just made about love. People ask for the same things as they go through life. The way they ask just gets a little more sophisticated:
I want . . .
I need . . .
Please . . .
I need your love.
You’re not fulfilling my needs in this relationship.
I need you to . . .
I can’t go on without . . .
These are my requirements . . .
Thoughts about your wants and needs can be very bossy. If you believe them, you feel you have to do what they say—you have to get people’s love and approval. There is another way to respond to a thought, and that is to question it. How can you question your wants and needs? How can you meet your thoughts without believing them?
I meet my thoughts the way I would meet my husband or my children: with understanding.
-From Byron Katie’s book “I Need Your Love – Is That True?”